If ever there was a time when we needed a safe shelter, it is now.
What a messy world! Sickness and death. Mandated masks. Closure of businesses. Loss of freedoms. Restricted interaction. Isolation. Rampant misinformation. Slanted media. Unreliable sources. Mob violence. Prevalence of lawlessness and wickedness.
I fully understand the Psalmist who cried out, “How long, O LORD?” [Psalm 13:1]. Or the cry of the Tribulation saints, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge and avenge our blood…?” [Revelation 6:10]. In the midst of this uncontrollable chaos, the human heart cries out to God for relief. At the very least, we seek His light at the end of a long, dark tunnel.
And yet, there is hope. God never leaves us comfortless. Though He may not immediately grant our cries for help, He offers shelter. When He doesn’t stop wickedness when or how we expect Him to, He provides a soothing place of refuge. All we have to do is seek its shelter—and stay there!
The LORD is your keeper; the LORD is your shade at your right hand [Psalm 121:5].
The safe shelter God provides is wide and sufficient. Nothing can reach in and assault us there. Symbolically, it protects even from the sun’s fierce rays and the moon’s haunting shadow. The storms may rage, but God’s refuge remains undisturbed.
The Lord is your shade at your right hand. The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night [Psalm 121:5-6].
For You have been a…refuge from the storm, a shade from the heat [Isaiah 25:4].
Behold, a king will reign in righteousness, and princes will rule with justice. A man will be as a hiding place from the wind, and a cover from the tempest, as rivers of water in a dry place, as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land. [Isaiah 32:1-2]
But shade implies proximity. To be in the shade of a tree, I must get close to it or under it. The same applies to God’s shelter. I must get closer to Him than ever before. Embracing Him fully guarantees my safe harbor in His shadow.
Resting in the intimacy of God’s presence incorporates secrecy and quietness. David asked God to hide him under the shadow of His wings [Psalm 17:8]. Several instances speak to the sacred secrecy of God’s presence.
You shall hide them in the secret place of Your presence from the plots of man; You shall keep them secretly in a pavilion from the strife of tongues [Psalm 31:20].
(God) You are my hiding place; You shall preserve me from trouble; You shall surround me with songs of deliverance [Psalm 32:7, parenthesis added].
He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust” [Psalm 91:1-2].
I have covered you with the shadow of My hand [Isaiah 51:16].
Though the world has lost its moral compass, God remains sovereignly in control. When the waves of turmoil and unrelenting perversity crash all around, God’s presence is a secret place of peace and confidence. He never changes. Nothing surprises or disturbs Him. In Him alone is peace forevermore.
Not only do I hide myself in His shelter, but I also hide myself from all distractions. To bring along the cares of the world or the busyness of life defeats the purpose of a secret place. I must respect and safeguard the secrecy of the refuge.
Taking full advantage of His secrecy, I quiet myself. I am “still” and allow Him to be God. Regardless of the surging storms, I commit myself to remaining in His peace and keeping my eyes on Him. There in the stillness of His presence, I listen and await His whisper.
Jesus referred to the place under a hen’s wings as a protected, safe, trusted haven [Matthew 23:37]. He mourned over Jerusalem for her unwillingness to gather under His wings of authority and protection.
Under God’s almighty wings, in his shade or shadow, there is confidence. I can rest safe and assured of His divine protection. Nothing can approach or befall me except by His sovereign orchestration. I can trust His perfect will and divine plan.
How precious is Your lovingkindness, O God! Therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of Your wings [Psalm 36:7].
Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me! For my soul trusts in You; and in the shadowof Your wings I will make my refuge [Psalm 57:1].
I will trust in the shelter of Your wings. [Psalm 61:4]
He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you shall take refuge; His truthshall be your shield and buckler. [Psalm 91:4]
Deception, fraud, and counterfeits surround us. No matter the source, the “truth” gets slanted for a particular agenda or purpose. Politicians twist words. Media outlets slant the narratives. Leaders disguise the facts through persuasive deflection. Organizations camouflage their financial statements through multiple asterisks. Even so-called preachers and teachers take God’s Word out of context to support their preferential views.
So, who do we trust?
God’s Word never changes. The Holy Spirit will never lead anyone in any way that contradicts His written Word. As the absolute truth, Jesus validated God’s Word as truth. So, it stands to reason, the hidden, secret place under God’s shelter is the only, sure, steadfast trusted place. It is there I take my refuge.
Because the shelter of the Almighty is hidden, secret, and trusted, it becomes a place of rejoicing. I rejoice because of God’s mercy, lovingkindness, and peace. His overwhelming grace, love, and protection fill my heart with gratitude. God’s presence becomes my constant delight.
Because You have been my help, therefore in the shadow of Your wings I will rejoice. [Psalm 63:7]
Like an apple tree among the trees of the woods, so is my beloved among the sons. I sat down in his shade with great delight, and his fruit was sweet to my taste. [Song of Solomon 2:3]
In Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore [Psalm 16:11].
How blessed we are to have bold access and divine shelter under His everlasting wings. No matter the external chaos. Regardless of the dire circumstances. In spite of the world’s depravity, perversity, and persecution. We remain firmly and safely anchored in God’s refuge of truth, hope, and consolation [Hebrews 6:17-19].
Hallelujah! What a Savior! Hallelujah! What an Almighty God! We rejoice in His glory, honor, power, wisdom, might, and sovereign orchestration of all things! Hallelujah!
Considering the Person and location of God’s shelter, we realize it is a sacred place.
God told Moses to build the Ark of the Covenant. The lid covering it was designated as the mercy seat. It contained two cherubims with outstretched wings. God promised to meet with Moses above the mercy seat. As such, it became a sacred place of meeting.
There I will meet with you, and I will speak with you from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubim which are on the ark of the Testimony [Exodus 25:22].
And the priests brought in the ark of the covenant of the LORD unto his place, into the oracle of the house, to the most holy place, even under the wings of the cherubims [1 Kings 8:6].
The Lord reigns, let the nations tremble; he sits enthroned between the cherubim, let the earth shake. [Psalm 99:1]
Here again, we see sacred, overshadowing wings above which God’s holy presence rests. He invites us to boldly approach Him and rest in His presence. Though prone to wander from the intimacy of God’s shelter, I quickly and often empower His Spirit to usher me back.
A caution lies in prioritizing God’s love, mercy, grace, and forgiveness and forgetting about His holiness. I must have a faith that behaves as well as it believes. Not out of religious obligation but heartfelt gratitude. In His presence, I grasp His awesomeness and the puniness of everything else. This reorients my focus and purpose to pleasing Him and becoming more Christlike.
God’s quiet shelter of peace and safety is not a rental or vacation destination. It is to be my primary residency. My dwelling and abiding there confirms His stillness over my life. I dare not even peek out from under His wings to check on the world. There is no need. I am at home in His presence, at rest in His protection. Let Him handle the world’s affairs while guiding my steps according to His perfect Word and will.
Oh, may we ever find rest and tranquility in His shelter. In running to the refuge of His shadow, may we seek His protection from our troubles. May our lives become testimonies of the safety, secrecy, stillness, and sacredness of abiding under God’s almighty wings.
Father God, thank you for Your shade, Your shadow, Your refuge, and Your almighty wings! I want to remain here—yes, for all these things—but mainly because You are here. Wrap me in Your presence. Comfort me with Your peace. Quiet me with Your stillness. Transform me with Your likeness. May I confidently rest in Your sovereign orchestration. Amen.
This is an updated edition of a post originally published on Nate Stevens